Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 3, 2008
Make a wise university choice
By ALICIA AMBROSIO
“Most universities have faith communities of some sort available.”
For Catholic students that might mean looking at what faith-based support is available on campus.
Buijs said students who have gone through the Catholic School system have had the luxury of being in an environment where everyone share the same beliefs and shares a knowledge of all things biblical and religious.
University can be big a shock because for the first time the Catholic students are in an environment where they most likely are in the minority, he said.
“Most universities have faith communities of some sort available. Most probably it’s not going to be advertised so it’s something you have to decide ‘this is important to me’ and go find it,” Buijs said.
Although the faith community on-campus might be hidden, “it can be very rewarding once you find it.”
Buijs pointed out that a university faith community could offer unique opportunities to learn more about one’s faith that a parish can’t offer.
He pointed out that St. Joseph’s College offers an opportunity to take courses about various aspects of the faith and the Church, allowing for a new and deeper understanding of one’s faith.
For parents of soon-to-be university students, Buijs said, “university is the time when parents need to step back.”
He said parents now need to trust that they have raised their child with good values and the tools necessary to make good choices.
He said in his experience those students who are entering university because of pressure from parents are usually the ones who end up not liking university.
“Let them go. There isn’t much more you can do but step back and be supportive,” he said.
He said first-time university students “like their independence but are not quite there yet.”
Being supportive can take many forms, like financially supporting the university student while they study or, if the student moves out, letting them come home to do laundry and raid the fridge.
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